Originally posted on The Sports Bank  |  Last updated 2/16/12

Illinois Coach Bruce Weber sounded like a dead man walking last night in his post game press conference. Following the Illini home loss to Purdue, which effectively killed his team’s NCAA Tournament at-large chances, Weber sounded very defeatist when meeting the media.

He called out some of his own players (Meyers Leonard, for his body language specifically), gushed over some of his opponents’ players, reflected on the last three years, and apologized for some of the things that went on during his regime in Champaign.

Basically, it sounded a lot like a guy who was saying goodbye, and letting it all out on the way to the door.

Today, he issued a statement explaining himself through the University (obtained via ESPN Chicago):

“I would like to expand on my comments from last night’s press conference. I spoke out of frustration following another difficult loss. I am disappointed in myself, as I said, for not developing a culture of toughness with our team up to this point in the season.

The difference between winning and losing is toughness and having the will to win, and that is something we will continue to try to instill in our team. We have a young group that has now been involved in 13 games decided by five points or less, which I believe is the most of any program in the country this season.

Our players, our staff, and I know our fans are frustrated because we are so close to putting it together. As I told our team last night, we have a lot to play for over these last five regular season games as well as the Big Ten Tournament. We still have an opportunity to make the NCAA Tournament, and I’m looking forward to practice today and working with our players to help us reach that goal.”

 

So that’s what Weber said in a statement today….Here’s some of what he said last night:

 

“It’s just sad. I feel really bad for my staff. They worked so hard. Countless hours. Preparation. The sad thing about the whole thing, and I guess it’s my fault, instead of creating toughness and developing a team, I coached not to lose all year. And that’s really sad to be honest.”

“You have to develop a culture and the last three years all I did was worry about winning instead of developing a culture of toughness. And that’s my fault. The kids, we’re always mollycoddling them.”

And yes, as you might have heard:

According to multiple sources, key Illini boosters have made it clear to Illinois Athletic Director Mike Thomas that Weber’s $3.9 million buyout should not stand in the way of making a change. A similar situation played out in the fall when head football coach Ron Zook was fired with a $2.6 million buyout.

and according to ESPN:

Thomas said Saturday on a Champaign radio station that he would evaluate Weber’s job status at the end of the season. But he also didn’t defend Weber as he took calls from fans criticizing the coach.

Paul M. Banks is CEO of The Sports Bank.net, an official Google News site generating millions of unique visitors. He’s also a regular contributor to Chicago Now, Walter Football.com, Yardbarker, and Fox Sports

A Fulbright scholar and MBA, Banks has appeared on live radio all over the world; and he’s a member of the Football Writers Association of America, U.S. Basketball Writers Association, and Society of Professional Journalists. The President of the United States follows him on Twitter (@Paul_M_BanksTSB) You should too.

GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Report: Irving believes LeBron leaked word of trade request

Jerry Jones weighs in on NFL's Ezekiel Elliott investigation

McFadden missed Cowboys charter flight to training camp

Report: Mayweather's GF being harassed by McGregor fans

LaVar Ball pulls entire AAU team from floor, forfeits game

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Pablo Sandoval apologizes for comments about Giants

LeBron James seems to respond to Kyrie Irving's trade request

Senator jokes that President Trump should nominate Tom Brady for ambassadorship

Report: Cubs interested in Rangers catcher Jonathan Lucroy

Marc-Andre Fleury took Stanley Cup on a road trip, protected it well

Cardinals say Carson Palmer, Larry Fitzgerald won't play in Hall of Fame Game

Sports & Politics Intersect: Trump casts shadow over U.S. Women's Open

Best of Yardbarker: General managers take the spotlight

The 'Pay that man his money' quiz

The unexpected rise of the Connecticut Sun

The National League Wild Card is suddenly relevant again

Kicking It: USMNT struggles to find consistency in Gold Cup as World Cup qualifying nears

Three Up, Three Down: The Dodgers are a complete juggernaut right now

BIG3 Week 5: Pivotal make-or-break weekend in Chicago

Who won the Open Championship in the year you were born?

Making an NFL GM change in the summer has its benefits

Box Score 7/21: Stay cool this weekend sports fans

The 'Let's show a little love for James Jones' quiz

All Sports News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Yardbarker Privacy Policy and Terms of Service. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Sports & Politics Intersect: Trump casts shadow over U.S. Women's Open

The National League Wild Card is suddenly relevant again

The 'Pay that man his money' quiz

BIG3 Week 5: Pivotal make-or-break weekend in Chicago

The 'Let's show a little love for James Jones' quiz

Making an NFL GM change in the summer has its benefits

The 'Yoan Moncada era starts now' quiz

The Orioles need to unwind past deals if they are going to rebuild

BIG3 Referee Hotline Bling: Sam Hinkie is calling the shots

The 'No one is betterer than Roger Federer' quiz

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker